Worst News Ever: "Oh Noes, The Game Is Just Too Short!"
When you're making a new game, you want good word-of-mouth.
You want positive, intriguing headlines that get consumers excited about the upcoming product. You want them talking about it in forums and communities, you want gamers asking questions; in general, you want that title in the limelight.
However, there are headlines you never want to see associated with your game and in my experience, one of the most damaging is the news that a game is shorter than anticipated. Obviously, this drives gamers nuts. Most still think games cost too much in the first place (not even remotely close to accurate, but whatever), and when it comes to $60, they expect to get some serious bang for their buck.
This is why people are freaking out over the headline found here: "You'll Reach Destiny's Max Level in 'Only a Few Hours.'" Now, at least the source has posted the full information, and Bungie clarifies by saying it's not about gaining levels in the game. They didn't want to make it all about level-grinding, so they made it more about finding and equipping better and better gear. That's a fair explanation, even if it's a somewhat odd design choice.
However, the game has already taken a hit on the hype and anticipation scale simply because of that headline. The actual information is almost irrelevant because as we all know, too many gamers online don't actually read; all they see is the headline. And it's all they're going to remember. When it involves the length of an upcoming experience, one they're eagerly anticipating, the reaction is downright nasty. For the most part, gamers respond better to delays and other sorts of bad news. But if reports start circulating that make the adventure seem shorter than expected...God help the developers.
I'm not saying it's wrong, per se, I'm just making an observation.
4/29/2014 9:44:24 PM Ben Dutka